I am calling upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the 1% increase in Westchester County’s Sales Tax rate (which, in reality, is an increase of about 15% in real dollars).
The increase is a political gimmick by Westchester County Executive and the Westchester County Board of Legislators as a way to balance the budget, without raising property taxes or doing the hard work of examining the Budget, line by line, to weed out waste and abuse, examine the way the County operates and to seek out new revenues and/or refreshing new ways to do more with less. These methods, championed by our former County Executive, resulted in NO increases in the real estate property tax over a seven-year period.
The current County Executive and democratically controlled Board of Legislators yearn to achieve Astorino’s record on taxes, but clearly have no ideas nor the courage to implement changes that would be required to achieve that record.
Instead, they resort to the easy path of raising taxes even though raising sales takes will have a detrimental effect on businesses. One need only travel a few miles into Connecticut or New Jersey to see the cars with New York license plates filling the shopping mall parking lots. Raising sales taxes will not increase sales in Westchester, only hurt them. In this case, shoppers need not travel out of state, only to Putnam or Rockland!
Further, sales tax increases, in addition to hurting businesses, already reeling because of the County’s misguided mandatory leave legislation, hurt the middle class working families they claim to try to help. Our wealthy residents bypass this tax every which way they can while the average working-class family cannot.
Not surprisingly, our very own Senator Peter Harckham voted AGAINST this sales tax increase!
Governor, please put an end to the tax tax tax mentality of the Westchester County Executive and Board of Legislators. I would urge you to go further and institute a policy where NO sales tax increase will be approved unless EVERY elected State representative in the Assembly and Senate, representing Westchester County, votes in favor of the increase.